UN to investigate PoW deaths; US ratifies Sweden and Finland Nato bids - TopAsiaFX

004, Aug 2022

US officials believe Russia is working to fabricate evidence concerning last week’s deadly strike on the Olevinka detention centre that killed 53 prisoners of war in a separatist region of eastern Ukraine.

A US official familiar with the intelligence finding told The Associated Press the classified intelligence – which was recently downgraded – shows that Russian officials might plant ammunition from medium-ranged High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or Himars, as evidence that the systems provided by the US to Ukraine were used in the attack.

Russia is expected to take the action as it anticipates independent investigators and journalists eventually getting access to Olenivka, the official added.

The US Senate delivered near-unanimous bipartisan approval to Nato membership for Finland and Sweden on Wednesday, calling expansion of the western defensive bloc a “slam-dunk” for US national security and a day of reckoning for Vladimir Putin.

The 95-1 vote for the candidacy of two European countries that, until Russia’s war against Ukraine, had long avoided military alliances took a crucial step toward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its 73-year-old pact of mutual defense among the United States and democratic allies in Europe.

Joe Biden, who has been the principal player rallying global economic and material support for Ukraine, has sought quick entry for the two previously non-militarily aligned northern European countries. Ukraine is seeking an opportunity to speak directly with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to help end its war with Russia, the president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has told the South China Morning Post.

In an interview with SCMP, the Ukrainian leader urged China to use its outsize political and economic influence over Russia to bring an end to the fighting.

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“It’s a very powerful state. It’s a powerful economy,” the report quoted Zelenskiy as saying. “So (it) can politically, economically influence Russia. And China is [also a] permanent member of the UN security council.” Zelenskiy told the SCMP that Ukraine had officially asked for a conversation with Xi but had so far been unsuccessful. Source: TheGuardian..